Friday, May 31, 2013

random photos

Just having fun and testing to see if I can post the Dalek Invasion of Duckie world here instead of on Facebook. Also will include the full Evil Overlord Library.


I'm not sure if I'm going to be any good at posting photos. I'd like to make it look like a movie montage. The great work continues



Saturday, May 25, 2013

A little more of my P and P, just because it's Saturday

Mrs. Reynolds! Mrs. Reynolds. Come. There is an injury. One of the visitors.”
The housekeeper who had paused in the foyer to tuck the tip granted her by the visitors into a pocket spun to face her employer.
Sir? They were well just this minute. I have only this moment left them.”
The girl took a bad fall. I saw it from the window.”
Oh. Oh.” Mrs. Reynolds hand flew to her mouth. “I shall send a stableman for the apocothery.” Then turning to a watching footmen. “James. Charles. Attend Mr. Darcy this minute.”
All three men ran into the garden. As Mr. Darcy went from gravel forecourt to short grass his leather soled indoor shoes slid. That explained it. This morning it had rained. Yesterday the sheep had been on this section of lawn trimming the grass short and leaving their droppings. The two events combined must have contributed to the girl’s fall on this otherwise gentle incline. He slowed his pace, picking his way over the slippery surface so that the same would not happen to him. By the time he reached the girl’s side she was sitting up, her ankle supported by her aunt.
Well, if I had ever wanted to know what it was like to be the heroine of a dreadful novel. . .” The young woman bit her lip as her aunt gently palpated her ankle. “. . . I have changed my mind. I had not thought it to hurt so.
Do not try to stand, Lizzy dear,” said her aunt. “We shall have these gentlemen assist you back to the carriage. As soon as we get back to the inn we shall. . .”
No,” said Darcy. “I shall not hear of it. You must come inside this instant and rest until the apothecary can be fetched. Indeed, the message has already been sent.”
Oh, sir,” said Lizzy. “We cannot impose. I shall be well if my aunt would only take my side. . .”
I will not hear of it,” insisted Darcy.
Mr. Darcy, sir. I am that sorry,” said the groundskeeper. “I fear the young lady took a fall on the wet grass.”
That is not all,” said the uncle holding up a small square of leather. “I will not have you reprimand your people for what was not their fault. It would appear that Lizzy’s heel came off her boot.”
I cannot say what happened first,” said Lizzy from her place on the ground. “Only, let me assure you, sir, that it was an accident.”
I do not doubt it for a second,” said Darcy. “As it happens I had paused in my work to take the air on my balcony and observed the entire event.”
Well, that is a blessing at least. I suppose, although I cannot hope that my descent was graceful. I am grateful, however, that you believe me. I would not wish to be considered importuning.”
Her lips twisted in a wry smile that Darcy found himself answering with a smile of his own.
Tearing his gaze from hers Darcy bowed to the elder lady.
I am Fitzwilliam Darcy. Pemberly is my home. How may I aid you, madam?”
I wish we could have met under better circumstances, Mr. Darcy. I am Madeleine Gardiner. My husband, Thomas Gardiner, my niece Elizabeth Bennet and I have been taking the sights of Derbyshire.” She gave a rueful laugh. “Pemberley and its gardens were supposed to be the pinnacle of our tour.”
A complement. I thank you.”
I believe we must remove her boot before the swelling gets much worse,” added Mrs. Gardiner.
Let us carry her to the house before that is attempted,” said Darcy and glanced toward the waiting footmen.
The two men took a step toward them.
Oh, no. That is unnecessary,” cried Lizzy. “Only, aunt, stay beside me and I shall hop.”
No. . .” began Darcy, but one look at the set chin and bright eyes of the lady and he yielded. “If you insist.”
With her aunt at one side and her uncle the other, Lizzy Bennet was helped to her one good foot and stood balancing between them. When she was lifted her face first reddened then paled and a gasp broke through her clenched teeth.
Oh, Lizzy. Can you bear it?” inquired Mrs. Gardiner.
There was a pause then Lizzy said. “No, aunt. As I stood. . .it is as if I can feel my limb swelling. Not just my ankle.” She bit her lip and tried a hop then looked at the distance she must cover to reach the house and shook her head. “No. I fear I cannot do it.”
I thought as much,” said Darcy, “but know from experience that stubborn women must have their own proof.”
He said it lightly, but the girl flushed at his words. Darcy considered the footmen then waved them away, coming himself to stand beside Lizzy. Both of the footmen were young. A little too young to trust with close contact with a young woman. One of them was cursed with bad small pox scars, the other bad teeth. He could not require a genteel young woman to suffer them to carry her. It would not happen. He would do it himself. At least he could trust his own hands not to wander.
You must tell me if I hurt you,” he said, coming to stand on her good side.
I fear there will be no way for you to avoid it, sir,” she said, “but I will try not to pull out your hair in retaliation.”
Darcy blinked as he slipped one arm about her back and the other under her. . . limbs.
To jest at such a moment either indicated a frivolous turn of mind or strength of spirit.
She lowered her arm over his shoulders and stiffened as he lifted her.
Am I hurting you?” he inquired immediately.
She closed her eyes as his hands pressed her lower limbs.
Yes. I think t’were best it were done quickly.”
First jests, now Shakespeare.
Darcy took one step and remembered that his shoes were not suitable for this slippery grass. By the same token, neither were his footmen’s. Mr. Gardiner, no doubt shod in sensible walking boots, was much smaller and older than Darcy.
Sighing, Darcy prayed for luck.
James, Charles. Come. Walk beside me. Support my arms if necessary but do not let me fall.”
Yes, sir,” cried the footmen and took their position.
Together the oddest quartet Pemberley had ever seen made walked unsteadily into the house. Although Darcy felt his feet shift a time or two he did not actually slip and so made his way safely to the building. The first room they came to was the formal receiving room and Darcy lead the way in. When he tried to lower Lizzy to a fine brocade covered chaise lounge the girl protested, clinging to his shoulder.
I cannot rest there. I am all over grass and dirt,” she cried.
This chaise has seen worse injury and survived,” said Darcy but the girl resisted until Mrs. Reynolds hustled forward with a sheet to protect the embroidered fabric. Finally he was able to lower her to the chair. “Your fastidiousness does you credit,” he said, smothering a sigh of relief.
His task was completed without falling or other loss of dignity.
She inclined her head in reply.
Darcy stepped back clearing the way for Mrs. Reynolds and Mrs. Gardiner to consult over the injured girl. Her bonnet was whisked away revealing a neat mass of chestnut hair, a few delicate curls escaping to caress her tanned cheek. Eyes of velvet brown filled with unshed tears as her sturdy boot was eased off her swollen foot but she refused to cry out.
Mr. Gardiner retrieved the boot and brought it and the heel to Darcy. “These are her favorite walking boots. The heel, you see, is worn, the nails twisted where they have not snapped. A slip on the hill, combined with the wet grass tore the heel quite off and she fell, hard.”

A little more of my P and P, just because it's Saturday

Mrs. Reynolds! Mrs. Reynolds. Come. There is an injury. One of the visitors.”
The housekeeper who had paused in the foyer to tuck the tip granted her by the visitors into a pocket spun to face her employer.
Sir? They were well just this minute. I have only this moment left them.”
The girl took a bad fall. I saw it from the window.”
Oh. Oh.” Mrs. Reynolds hand flew to her mouth. “I shall send a stableman for the apocothery.” Then turning to a watching footmen. “James. Charles. Attend Mr. Darcy this minute.”
All three men ran into the garden. As Mr. Darcy went from gravel forecourt to short grass his leather soled indoor shoes slid. That explained it. This morning it had rained. Yesterday the sheep had been on this section of lawn trimming the grass short and leaving their droppings. The two events combined must have contributed to the girl’s fall on this otherwise gentle incline. He slowed his pace, picking his way over the slippery surface so that the same would not happen to him. By the time he reached the girl’s side she was sitting up, her ankle supported by her aunt.
Well, if I had ever wanted to know what it was like to be the heroine of a dreadful novel. . .” The young woman bit her lip as her aunt gently palpated her ankle. “. . . I have changed my mind. I had not thought it to hurt so.
Do not try to stand, Lizzy dear,” said her aunt. “We shall have these gentlemen assist you back to the carriage. As soon as we get back to the inn we shall. . .”
No,” said Darcy. “I shall not hear of it. You must come inside this instant and rest until the apothecary can be fetched. Indeed, the message has already been sent.”
Oh, sir,” said Lizzy. “We cannot impose. I shall be well if my aunt would only take my side. . .”
I will not hear of it,” insisted Darcy.
Mr. Darcy, sir. I am that sorry,” said the groundskeeper. “I fear the young lady took a fall on the wet grass.”
That is not all,” said the uncle holding up a small square of leather. “I will not have you reprimand your people for what was not their fault. It would appear that Lizzy’s heel came off her boot.”
I cannot say what happened first,” said Lizzy from her place on the ground. “Only, let me assure you, sir, that it was an accident.”
I do not doubt it for a second,” said Darcy. “As it happens I had paused in my work to take the air on my balcony and observed the entire event.”
Well, that is a blessing at least. I suppose, although I cannot hope that my descent was graceful. I am grateful, however, that you believe me. I would not wish to be considered importuning.”
Her lips twisted in a wry smile that Darcy found himself answering with a smile of his own.
Tearing his gaze from hers Darcy bowed to the elder lady.
I am Fitzwilliam Darcy. Pemberly is my home. How may I aid you, madam?”
I wish we could have met under better circumstances, Mr. Darcy. I am Madeleine Gardiner. My husband, Thomas Gardiner, my niece Elizabeth Bennet and I have been taking the sights of Derbyshire.” She gave a rueful laugh. “Pemberley and its gardens were supposed to be the pinnacle of our tour.”
A complement. I thank you.”
I believe we must remove her boot before the swelling gets much worse,” added Mrs. Gardiner.
Let us carry her to the house before that is attempted,” said Darcy and glanced toward the waiting footmen.
The two men took a step toward them.
Oh, no. That is unnecessary,” cried Lizzy. “Only, aunt, stay beside me and I shall hop.”
No. . .” began Darcy, but one look at the set chin and bright eyes of the lady and he yielded. “If you insist.”
With her aunt at one side and her uncle the other, Lizzy Bennet was helped to her one good foot and stood balancing between them. When she was lifted her face first reddened then paled and a gasp broke through her clenched teeth.
Oh, Lizzy. Can you bear it?” inquired Mrs. Gardiner.
There was a pause then Lizzy said. “No, aunt. As I stood. . .it is as if I can feel my limb swelling. Not just my ankle.” She bit her lip and tried a hop then looked at the distance she must cover to reach the house and shook her head. “No. I fear I cannot do it.”
I thought as much,” said Darcy, “but know from experience that stubborn women must have their own proof.”
He said it lightly, but the girl flushed at his words. Darcy considered the footmen then waved them away, coming himself to stand beside Lizzy. Both of the footmen were young. A little too young to trust with close contact with a young woman. One of them was cursed with bad small pox scars, the other bad teeth. He could not require a genteel young woman to suffer them to carry her. It would not happen. He would do it himself. At least he could trust his own hands not to wander.
You must tell me if I hurt you,” he said, coming to stand on her good side.
I fear there will be no way for you to avoid it, sir,” she said, “but I will try not to pull out your hair in retaliation.”
Darcy blinked as he slipped one arm about her back and the other under her. . . limbs.
To jest at such a moment either indicated a frivolous turn of mind or strength of spirit.
She lowered her arm over his shoulders and stiffened as he lifted her.
Am I hurting you?” he inquired immediately.
She closed her eyes as his hands pressed her lower limbs.
Yes. I think t’were best it were done quickly.”
First jests, now Shakespeare.
Darcy took one step and remembered that his shoes were not suitable for this slippery grass. By the same token, neither were his footmen’s. Mr. Gardiner, no doubt shod in sensible walking boots, was much smaller and older than Darcy.
Sighing, Darcy prayed for luck.
James, Charles. Come. Walk beside me. Support my arms if necessary but do not let me fall.”
Yes, sir,” cried the footmen and took their position.
Together the oddest quartet Pemberley had ever seen made walked unsteadily into the house. Although Darcy felt his feet shift a time or two he did not actually slip and so made his way safely to the building. The first room they came to was the formal receiving room and Darcy lead the way in. When he tried to lower Lizzy to a fine brocade covered chaise lounge the girl protested, clinging to his shoulder.
I cannot rest there. I am all over grass and dirt,” she cried.
This chaise has seen worse injury and survived,” said Darcy but the girl resisted until Mrs. Reynolds hustled forward with a sheet to protect the embroidered fabric. Finally he was able to lower her to the chair. “Your fastidiousness does you credit,” he said, smothering a sigh of relief.
His task was completed without falling or other loss of dignity.
She inclined her head in reply.
Darcy stepped back clearing the way for Mrs. Reynolds and Mrs. Gardiner to consult over the injured girl. Her bonnet was whisked away revealing a neat mass of chestnut hair, a few delicate curls escaping to caress her tanned cheek. Eyes of velvet brown filled with unshed tears as her sturdy boot was eased off her swollen foot but she refused to cry out.
Mr. Gardiner retrieved the boot and brought it and the heel to Darcy. “These are her favorite walking boots. The heel, you see, is worn, the nails twisted where they have not snapped. A slip on the hill, combined with the wet grass tore the heel quite off and she fell, hard.”

Monday, May 13, 2013

Can't resist it. MY Pride and Prejudice Variation.



Fitzwilliam Darcy passed through the French Windows onto the balcony that adjoined his study and surveyed the grounds of Pemberly. The Derbyshire estate had been the home to the Darcy’s for two centuries and the only thing he cared for more than the lands, the lakes, the bountiful natural beauty surrounding him was his one and only sibling, his sister, Georgiana. Usually, when he was disheartened and distracted, the vista that lay beneath his window had a soothing effect upon his soul and lifted his spirit, but this fine summer afternoon it did not. In fact, the parkland surrounding his ancestral home had, in the last year, come to represent to him more a dark and hopeless prison than a place of retreat and beauty.
The sound of a fine pianoforte could be heard drifted out of another open window above his head and to the right.  Georgiana, his dearest sister, was practicing as diligently as ever she did. Her playing was as fine, delicate and technically perfect as always.  However, in the self same twelvemonth, all passion and sensibility had fled her fingers and instead of devoting her playing to the demanding and complex compositions provided by Handel and Beethoven and Mozart she played, dispassionately, those tinkling, irrelevant pieces more appropriate to very young students.
 Likewise she eschewed fashions suitable for a young woman soon to be presented to society and reverted to those costumes designed for children.  Granted she was not yet out in society but, even so, her dress need not be so. . . young. Darcy, in an attempt to discourage her, had refused to have new clothing commissioned made to fit her taller form, but that was insufficient disincentive. Georgiana, therefore, drifted through Pemberly’s halls in dresses both too tight and too short.
Nothing he could do would dissuade her from this behavior and while she indulged in it he was unwilling for either of them to be seen in any society – both family or general. Therefore they remained, alone and isolated, in Pemberley.
He sighed and leaned against the dull stone wall, protected from a teasing breeze by ornamental flower pots overflowing with abundant blooms.
What was he to do?
How could he mend his sister’s damaged spirit before it impacted their standing in society?
His attention was caught by a carriage cresting the hill above Pemberley at a curve designed and intended to display the house and grounds around it to best advantage for those arriving. He frowned as the carriage stopped.
He was not in expectation of any arrivals. He waited as the carriage shook and resumed its journey down the curving path. The horses were adequate, he supposed. There was nothing marked in their lines. Likewise the carriage was unprepossessing, well made, dusty but in good condition otherwise and lacking heraldic devices on its doors.
Summer visitors, he concluded with a sigh.  He considered for a moment summoning his housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds, and instructing her to send them away, but that decision required that he take action and today he felt unequal to the task. The heat of the day, the worry weighing on his mind and the layers of his proper dress sapped his energy. Instead he remained where he was enjoying the breeze and shade and watched the vehicle’s slow approach
Once the carriage navigated the long drive and pulled up in the forecourt a well dressed, but not extravagantly or foolishly fashionable, gentleman descended and, after consulting with someone still within, assisted one, then a second woman to the ground. While the ladies wandered toward the nearest display of flowers the gentleman walked up the stairs to the door.
Positioned as he was over the forecourt Darcy had a clear view of the ladies figures while walking. Both women were small with elegant curves, their postures erect but not excessively proud. The elder woman was fashionably dressed without any unnecessary frippery about her person. Even the parasol she held lacked the excessive lace or ribbons so favored by the Ton. The younger woman, possibly her daughter, ignored the convention of parasols, preferring a sheltering bonnet, and turned about, eagerly taking in the sights. As they turned to examine the landscape before them the elder’s raised voice came clearly to Darcy.
“You see, Lizzy, as I promised.  It is not merely a house well furnished. The grounds are delightful and it has some of the best woods in Derbyshire.”
“Oh, yes, Aunt,” came the reply in a pleasantly deep voice for a young woman.
Not for this girl the affectation of a brittle voice and false ennui. Everything about her spoke of energy and enthusiasm, restrained only by good breeding.
“Even Bellingham is nothing to this,” the girl addressed as Lizzy continued.  “There is nothing formal or falsely adorned here. Never have I seen a place for which nature has done more, or where natural beauty has been so little counteracted by an awkward tasted. It is everything that is delightful.”
Darcy could not but agree. It was delightful to hear Pemberley so praised. Usually when he brought guests here their comments were directed more to the value of the land, the wealth that such bounty represented. Some of his female guests would espouse their views, unsolicited, on how the place could be improved by decorating in the manner of some fashionable fad or other. Gilding and cherubs and Chinese urns. He shuddered. No. None of these belonged at Pemberley.  And to none of these abominations did the woman refer. Instead she stood, her back to the noble house, contemplating the rural scene before her, enjoyment in every line of her form. Natural beauty, it appeared, was her ideal.
Therefore, when his housekeeper scratched at the door he returned to his office and bid her enter feeling a long absent good humor.  He was wise enough to realize that praise of his home was a temporary restorative, but accepted the balm for what it was. As much of a lift as simple sunlight and just as transient and ephemeral.
“Mr. Darcy, sir,” said Mrs. Reynolds, a woman of mature years kept thin and vigorous by the necessity of walking Pemberly’s long hallways. “We have a small group of summer visitors. They were unaware that the family was in residence  but now they know you are here they have asked if they may view the grounds.”
“Only the grounds?” Darcy was perversely hurt.
“I did inform them that you and Miss Georgiana were present and they were about to depart when . . . I suggested that the grounds would not be too much of an imposition.”
Darcy considered briefly. “No, Mrs. Reynolds. I am certain they came a long way and we should not be discourteous. Although in general I do not like it when we are in residence, they may see the State rooms on the main floor and the portrait gallery. Then Old Greyly may show them the walk down the East gardens to grandfather’s Temple folly and the lake.”
“Oh. That is very kind of you, sir.”
“Yes.” Darcy paused then added. “Please send a footman to Georgiana to advise her that there are summer visitors entering the house.”
“Oh, aye, sir. Given her mood of late she might want to go to her room rather than risk meeting them.”
“Exactly so,” sighed Darcy.
He returned to his desk and took up the next item of business awaiting his attention but the numbers on the page could not hold his attention. The distant piano music halted then he heard the tap tap of running feet and knew that Georgiana was fleeing upstairs. The sound and its meaning had him closing his eyes.
The path of the visitors would take them down the hall past his study when they came upstairs to view the portrait gallery. He considered fleeing to his library or some other private family room but put the thought aside and returned to his desk and his correspondence. After about a half hour he heard voices approaching. The young woman’s voice came to his ear as they passed his door.
“Elegant. . . Splendid. . .Fine.” There was nothing acquisitive in her voice, which pleased him. Merely sincere appreciation.
Her aunt must have paused for her voice came clearer. A full sentence.
“You would not desire a little gilding here and there?” she said, in a jesting tone.  “Perhaps about a window?”
“Oh, aunt.” A warm deep laugh echoed down the corridor. “Through each window we can see such beauties of nature. Such delights. How can you suggest that false glitter would improve these views?”
“Not at all. I am only teasing.”
The rippling laugh filled the study and Darcy moved to the door to listen closely. As the footsteps moved away he cracked open the door and peered after the visitors. Both women improved on closer examination. They were everything that was graceful and gracious. Their voices harmonized pleasantly in conversation. He could only wish that his sister would appear so well in company.
They were too far away for him to hear their comments on the portraits. Aware that he was paying too much attention to so simple a thing as summer visitors he returned to his desk. Obviously he had been too long without society. Perhaps it was a sign that it was time to push Georgiana out of the nest if the appearance of two strange women in his house could so capture his attention. 
He turned away from the door. Perhaps this distraction was a sign he should leave his sister alone at Permberly and venture forth into society himself. He knew he had a reputation for stiff and standoffish behavior. Disappearing for a year or more would not enhance his reputation.
It was not much later that he heard voices outside the window as his guests descended the broad staircase from the Library balcony down to be introduced to his head gardener. He rose immediately to move to his balcony. The visitors did not look back at the house but directed their attention to the Grecian folly at the north end of the lake.
The girl strode, arms swinging, down the gentle grassy incline preceding her aunt and uncle. He enjoyed the movement of her figure, the freedom of her manner and stride. He especially enjoyed the modern fashion that garbed women in loosely flowing robes that, when caught by the breezes, pressed the fabric revealingly against their curves. The girl, Lizzy, might be small but she was well fleshed in the appropriate manner.  Then he gasped, seizing the balustrade as the girl lost her footing and, with a pained cry, sprawled, rolling down the incline.
The gracelessness of her tumble without a doubt spoke of its sincerity. The aunt echoed the girl’s cry and would have raced to her side but her arm was caught by her husband to prevent another accident. Obedient to his direction the woman waited while her husband hastened to the girl to investigate the injuries.  Darcy pushed himself away from the balustrade and ran from his office.